Rabbit snail is a freshwater snail. It goes under several names so they can often also be called „Elephant snail“. Tylomelania is the Latin name of a rabbit snail. Now that we have covered the names they are known for, let’s dive deeper.
Snails of the genus Tylomelania are very interesting to aquarists, unlike other exotic snails they adapt very well to life in the aquarium, are not demanding and breed regularly. What definitely makes them attractive, it’s colour can be black, black with dots of different colours, yellow, orange or red. The discovery of new species with other colours is very likely.
For snails they lead a quite active life, they can be often found crawling around in both daytime and night time.
Where do they come from?
A large number of species can be found in the coastal waters of Sulawesi Lake where they mostly inhabit the bottom. They are equally numerous in places with sandy and rocky bottoms. On this island of unusual shape, several lakes are characteristically known for their soft water.
A great number of endemic species can be found in those areas, such as shrimps, snails and fish which all are included in fish keeping adventures. Quite some number of those species are not even classified by scientists so they often come to stores under different names and different local habitat classifications.
Why Are they called Rabbit Snails?
Rabbit-like faces, as well as their droopy antennae resembling the ears of a rabbit, are the reasons why we are calling them rabbit snails. They have striking features, their faces have expressions ranging from smiling to longing to even mischievous. Their shells are medium to large and can have various colours.
How big can they grow?
The size of any particular Rabbit Snail depends on how old they are. Some species can grow up to10 – 12 centimetres. Nevertheless, their large size is not the single reason why they are additionally termed Elephant Snails.
What sets them apart from other species of snails is their attractive appearance, all species of Tylomelania captivate with their appearance. Their house is conical in shape, their size varies from 2-12 cm, in some types of houses it is smooth while in others it is extremely rough.
Sulawesi snails are adaptable and resistant organisms when the minimum conditions are met. In their case, it is necessarily base water, which does not have to be soft as in their natural habitat. Rabit snails are not tolerant of salt in water, these snails are exclusively freshwater. In acidic water, calcium is lost from the body and the shell, they become less active, and they can die if such conditions last for a long time.
They are peaceful and can be combined with a large number of organisms. Snail-eating species such as Indian loaches and large aggressive fish species that otherwise endanger snails should be avoided. Larger species require larger aquariums, a minimum of about 60 litres, while smaller ones will need 40 litres.
The setting is not of any importance, it is equally successfully grown in different types of aquariums. Snails that come to stores directly from the wild are sheltered from strong light and look for darker parts of the aquarium.
Rabbit snails diet is not complicated, they gladly accept different types of dry plant-based foods, Spirulina tablets and different granules. Boiled vegetables are welcome, they will gladly eat chard, spinach, zucchini and cucumber.
Reproduction of rabbit snails often occurs in specimens kept in good conditions. There is no need for any intervention by the aquarist. The sexes are separated, the female has a reproductive bag in which young snails develop, the egg in which the snail is located, the female will lay and soon hatch. Young snails are a faithful copy of adults, ranging in size from a few mm to 1.5 cm, depending on the species.
The general opinion of rabbit snails are very positive, they are not difficult to keep and as there are many more difficult more „famous species“ to keep. They are certainly attractive due to their simplicity. Aquatic lovers consider rabbit snails as effortless to deal with. As long as they are in a stable, established, and healthy aquarium. They are always in pursuit of food so they can be observed most of the time somewhere in the tank.